Dear American Girl,

I’m often scared to try new things. For example, my class went to an amusement park, and I was too chicken to go on any rollercoasters. Now I feel like I’m missing out and I regret not going on the rides. How can I be braver?
-Scaredy cat

Here's your advice:

First make small goals such as talking to someone new at school or raising your hand more often. Think of how brave you are when you do these things. Once you’re brave doing these things, work your way up something bigger, such as going on a rollercoaster.
-Heather, age 12, Pennsylvania

I used to be really scared of roller coasters. My dad helped me get over my fear. He said I should start on smaller coasters. I did and then I eventually went on a bigger one. I recently went on a huge coaster and was so scared, but it turned out to be amazing.
-An American Girl fan

Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t do something. You can do it.
-Abbi, age 11, Texas

Just be yourself. We are all different and we all enjoy different things. If you don’t like rollercoasters, you don’t have to do them. There are probably things you like doing that others are scared of.
-Emma, age 11, Georgia

If you’re scared, you don’t have to do it. Don’t let anyone pressure you. If you do want to try something, start out small and then work your way up.
-Molly, age 11, Washington

The next time you have the opportunity to do something you’re afraid of, try thinking about it in a new way. You could think, “If I never try it, I’ll never know if I like it or not.” You might be surprised to find you love it.
-Rachel, age 11, Arizona

Trying new things can be scary. To overcome your fears, it can help to try stepping out of your comfort zone. Make sure you don’t do it all at once, though, because that can be overwhelming.
-Patricia, age 11, North Dakota

Everyone’s scared of something. If you’d like to be more outgoing, try signing up for a new sport or club.
-An American Girl fan

I don’t do roller coasters. If you really want to try a big roller coaster, go with a friend or family member. Hold that person’s hand if you’re scared!
-Lillian, age 9, South Carolina

Ask a friend to try one new thing with you every week. You can encourage each other and accomplish the goals you set. But remember: the bravest thing you can do is be yourself.
-Carolina, age 13, Vermont

Try learning more about rollercoasters and how they work. Research the amusement park you’re going to before you get there. That way you can learn more about each specific ride and you’ll have time to prepare yourself.
-Amelia, age 10, Minnesota

Muster up the courage to go on one that is a little scary. Then go on it over and over until you get a feel for it. Once you’re bored with that one, go on a bigger one!
-Claire, age 12, Virginia

Think of something happy like rainbows and unicorns when you’re on the rollercoaster.
-An American Girl fan

One time in school we were having a debate in class. Everyone else was talking and I was scared to share my opinion. I made a promise to myself that I’d say something. Once I did I felt so proud of myself. Maybe you’ll feel the same way after a roller coaster.
-Lily, age 10, Maryland

HELP! from You